Hello, some time ago I creates a survey and asked you about the most wanted features for boundless. We have some results and in this thread i want to discuss them with you. In the 2nd part I will talk about possible new features that may fill these less interesting parts of boundless as chopping trees or mining soil.
4 most wanted features from the list:
full list here
- Farming system
It is quite interesting that this is the most wanted feature. It looks like people really want to make a farm and it may actually be a really engaging feature. I was thinking how could we make it different from minecraft’s farming system and I came up with an idea.
Plants may have different tiers. Single plant may flower up to 10 times, depends on it’s rarity.
Tier I plants: seeds of these plants are fairly easy to find. You can harvest them after 18 hours, they give you fruits you can eat.
Tier II: a little bit rarer. They grow 24h. Eating fruits grants you some bonuses like +10 to vitality, dexterity etc.
Tier III: Rare plants of different types that can be harvested for better fruits, bunch of blocks or some gleam, grow for 36 hours. They require special soil type, like they can only be planted on gleam.
Plants can be harvested only severeal times and after that they die and must be replaced with new ones.
These plants may as well decor your house.
- Leaving messages for other players. Mailboxes and Signs
Everyone who play boundless knows how much we need Signs. Signs are ones of these features that everyone wants. Leaving messages for other players sometimes would be really helpful. Thankfully they are finally comming.
Mailboxes. They would serve community in many ways.
- You could leave a message for some random person and tell him he has nice house.
- If you had a shop you could inform others about that.
- You could tell others to check forums!
- You could advertise an upcoming event.
- As a crafter you could deleiver an item someone has paid for.
- Exploring the land.
At this point there are only few reasons to explore plantes:
- explore to find cool place for house
- explore to find gleam
- explore to discover regions
Hidden chests would surely encourage people to explore land a little bit more. They may contain several gems, some ores, maybe even an ingridient required for forge!
Features worth developing
- Why some players stop playing.
- What kind of features make players entertained?
Please take in mind this is my personal opinion and i have the best intentions. Feel free to join the discussion as it will be beneficial to the thread and some conclusions may be really helpful for developers.
Why players stop playing
Why do i start this section with such title? Because it’s easy to came up with ideas for features that doesn’t change the game. Many people suggest things that would be interesting, but are totally not worth developing. I want to give you a different look at this problem.
I spent some time exploring worlds trying to find abandoned plots of players who left the game and here are my results:
- some players leave before even creating basic machines like mixer+
- some players make all the machines, build a cool house, mine some gems and them leave
First group of players who leave early:
From what i found these players find it hard to start. Skills system seems to block them from progressing. They drop the game as they don’t find it rewarding enough to take a deeper dive. Some people don’t know what to expect from it as tutorial doesn’t tell them much. I think it’s all going to improve, so we won’t discuss it.
Second group of players who stop playing much later:
I talked to many players who had their houses finished, got lots of stuff and nothing to do. These players were interested in the game, explored it a little bit. Many abandoned houses were full of machines, had nice looking chiseled interiors and 3 dead portals. You can see many players talking about the same:
“After playing a few hours beyond building a base and collecting resources, there’s not much else”
It’s understandable, boundless is in development and it’s a matter of time for more features to come.
What kind of features make players entertained?
It’s time to explain what I have in mind when i say we need features that actually bring something to the game.
- New chisels
- More decorations
- More monster tints
They won’t make players stay for long. I have to admit, many features of that type make game more interesting. All of these add much to do, but they are all optional features. They are not important to the gameplay. Player can choose to use them but they don’t have much impact on the game.
- You can chisel your house with 156 different angles, but after 2 hours your house is finished and you dont need it anymore. (Chisels are a major feature that brought more players to the game. I don’t deny it)
- Decorations - devs spend long time on developing them, but you as a player just place them and you’re done. Yeah, they look nice.
- Monster tints. Nobody denies how beautiful this game is. However at this point they have to developed it also takes time and typical player really doesn’t care if he kills green or orange spitter.
- Stickers, same as decorations.
Look, any of these features takes at least 2 months to develop and has little to zero impact on players experience.
What is even worse… first group of people leaves before discovering them, second is not that interested to explore it all. Typical player will rather make
a diamond square villa than use all these decorations that are planned.
When i recall Minecraft i see many bad designs, but they actually work. In Minecraft you can mine, craft, farm, tame animals, build, enchant weapons, create potions, create mechanisms, trade with villagers, explore nether, fight ender dragon etc. Minecraft has many cheap mechanisms that make players constantly busy. People always need to collect or craft something. They always need more stuff. If you take a look at Minecraft mods they expand this idea even more. You get 20 more tiers of weapons and i have to admit, progressing is entertaining.
Connecting it all together.
Minecraft didn’t focus on making things complicated and deep. It introduced many features avaiable for players from the start and is making players busy. And this is the most important aspect of the game that should be developed.
I say that again. Furniture, props, stickers are all cool. I’d love to see them in 1.0 , but In my opinion there are more important features to develop.
What features make players busy?
- Progression system - we already have that. It took me 200h to reach 50lvl. awesome
- Mining system - this is a perfect example of a perfect system that makes player busy. Congratulations Boundless, it feels really entartaining and rewarding.
- Fighting system - another great example.
What other could be introduced?
- Farming system - It is a system that really engages player into being active. You need to plant and harvest crops, find seeds, learn about different kinds of plants. It all takes time and it can be expanded to enchant other aspects of the game.
It’s up to you guys to come up with an idea of a system that is easy to develop, not complicated but entertaining.
There are many field that can be filled with interesting stuff like
- chopping trees
- mining soil
- exploring land
- different kinds of machines
- crafting equipment
- different services (taxing people for using portal hubs, renting advanced machines)
- weather system (planned)
- rare materials to collect (planned)
- and many other system that no one has invented before.
New players despite seeing the slow progression - that is required as Boundless is an MMO - will always have something to do instead. Players that have 30+ hours in boundless will still have more to do, some concepts may be expanded and adjusted to higer level players.
Tell me what you think